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Friday, 26 July, 2002, 17:39 GMT 18:39 UK
Bosnian women kidnapped, raped
Nato peacekeeper
The UN uncovered the kidnapping
Six women were raped, beaten and tortured after being abducted from a Bosnian nightclub by 15 armed men, UN officials have said.

Five of the women were later released, but a sixth has still not be found.

The women, from Romania and Moldova, were kidnapped from the club in Kiseljak, near the capital Sarajevo, on Monday night.

The reason for the attack is unclear, though local media have suggested it may have been revenge for an unpaid debt.

Flourishing trade

After their release, the women were taken to hospital where they were treated "without dignity and respect, which is absolutely unacceptable," UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said.

The incident was uncovered by the UN special unit which seeks out women abused or forced into the sex industry in the Balkans.

The UN is reported to be interviewing the women to see whether they were working as prostitutes against their will.

Prostitution - often of women from poorer eastern European countries such as Moldova and Romania - has flourished in Bosnia since the break-up of Yugoslavia.

The UN unit has raided almost 600 nightclubs so far, searching mainly for under-age girls.

However, doubts have been cast on the UN personnel's commitment to stamp out the problem, as many of the soldiers and officers serving are alleged to be regular clients of the nightclubs.

See also:

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